Sunday, April 30, 2006

Parking - the Favourite Activity of Anti-social Cretins?

Well, and here's me thinking I was all angried out this weekend. I decided to smoke a lot of crack cocaine this weekend and see how many posts I could fire out. I arrived at my girlfriend's place a little while ago and somebody (probably a reader of my blog who wanted to give me some fuel) manages to fire me up with one of my pet hates.

Why are people such ignorant pricks when it comes to parking? I think I've never seen anything bring out the worst in human nature as much as parking does. Go down to the shops and you will always see somebody acting like a homicidal maniac over something as banal as a parking space. Seriously, you're safer getting between a mother bear and her cub than between some people and parking space they have decided is "theirs". And yes, I've been on the receiving end of some psychopath diving into a parking space I was patiently waiting for, I know how angryfying that is and I'm not excusing it for a second.

That isn't even the variant I'm going mad over tonight. My girlfriend and I both live in an inner-city suburb and street parking is often at a premium, so when I stay at her place it's sometimes a struggle to find somewhere to park. This gets made worse by self centred cretins who take up more than one space. Maybe I'm being too judgemental, I don't know for sure that they're self-centred. They might be really fucking stupid.

What makes people do it? There's a space between two driveways that's clearly the right size for two cars. But not when some cretin decides to park right in the middle. Honestly, my therapist says I take things too personally. I bet that wanker in the van takes it personally when the bomb I wired up to his ignition goes off in the morning.

A Fine Example of the Angry Internets

When I want a break from angry ranting on my blog, I like to do random searches for other examples of angriness online. It's remarkable how un-angry some people seem who describe their sites as angry or even angriest but I did find the following gem:

The Angriest Rice Cooker in the World

It takes a special brand of genius to anthropomorphise a rice cooker to express angriness.


Post Traumatic Toilet Stress Syndrome

I was reading another blog last night and the author made a random comment that triggered some long-suppressed traumatic memories of my worst-ever workplace. There are many ways an employer can make you feel worthless, constantly belittling you, paying you much less than you know other people are getting for the same work or simply giving you really lousy facilities.

My worst-ever job combined all of these but there were some bizarre twists on what they did with the work environment. Not long after I started there, they moved everybody into one building. Previously, staff had been spread around different offices throughout the city. On the surface, this was a good idea but the twist was that the overall floor space was much smaller - on average, each person's cubicle space was reduced by 1/3 and almost nobody had offices in the new building. Even the managers became cubicle dwellers. And the cubicles had really low walls so there was no more avoiding eye contact with cow-orkers. This didn't bother me so much but you soon found out who the anti-social ones were.

Imagine the fun and games of anti-social office drones with no interpersonal skills being put in a situation where they couldn't avoid face-to-face contact with... humans!

The worst part overall was undoubtedly what they did with the kitchen facilities. They were essentially a crime against humanity. Each floor had a kitchen are that was nothing more than a narrow bench, about two metres long with a sink and a microwave. But that part was just annoying. The horrible part was that this was right next to the toilet doors. As in less than one metre from the toilet to where you were preparing food and beverages. And you know how most communal toilets have some sort of vestibule or at least dog-leg between the outside world and the facilities? So you don't see all the goings-on as soon as the door is open?

Not these ones.

A straight view from your lunch to this tiny toilet facility. And as some female staff members told me, there was no real barrier between the men's urinal and the outside world. If they forgot to avert their gaze while making coffee, they could end up with an eyeful. Although I guess "eyeful" depends who was taking a leak at the time.

So one more tip for the evil bosses out there. Are your workers getting a bit uppity or even comfortable in their lives? Put them in a really demeaning work environment - that'll slap 'em down.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Idiocy, Insanity and Criminality

Just wanted to share another snippet I found when I was looking up the Dubya "I hear the voices" quote the other day. One of the many travesties visited upon the populace by this administration was wholesale illegal phone tapping. His supporters can argue all they want about it being the right thing, it's out and out illegal. And stupid. The bar for these clowns getting wiretaps authorised is so low (they can even can an authorisation after the fact) it beggars belief that they would break the law to do it.

And Dubya doesn't even argue the legality. His "defence" as such seems to be "I'm the president and I can do whatever I want." It honestly seems that descriptions like "imperial rule" aren't hyperbole, they're plain and simple fact. Anyway, he was found out and after agreeing to suppress the story for a year two journalist published the story and have since been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Now it isn't surprising Bush supporters bitch and moan about someone revealing their president, you know, broke the fucking law. It is apparently impossible in these people's eyes that Bush could be held accountable for anything. Literally anything. So hearing these foaming at the mouth blowhards saying the journalists should be sent to jail doesn't surprise me. But the level of hypocrisy exhibited by some of them is truly staggering.

One charming chap by the name of Bill Bennett had recently proclaimed himself a champion a free press by saying the press who wouldn't run the notorious Mohammed cartoons had "capitulated to Islamists". My own view of those cartoons is that it's a slightly complex situation but in short, you should be able to publish them and nobody should burn down buildings and kill people because of a fucking cartoon. Anyway, old Bill is all for a free press, publish without fear or favour.

Unless it involves his boy GW. Only a few weeks after championing a free press he say journalists WHO REVEALED ILLEGAL ACTIVITY BY THE PRESIDENT should go to jail. Yes, in a democracy. You hear that folks? These champions of freedom think exposing their criminality makes you the criminal.

These people must be utterly incapable of self-reflection. If they even tried to mentally process the mendacity of which they are guilty their fucking heads would explode.

The Pundits Calling the Kettle Black

The whole idea of the role and prominence of pundits has been bubbling away in my mind since reading of a recent stir involving right wing pundit and blogger, Michelle Malkin. She seems to be one of the pin-up girls of the right, the other (who seems to be their favourite) is Anne Coulter. And let me just say, I really don't agree with the idea that Anne Coulter is sexy. Ignoring for a moment that she's clearly insane, the woman's a skank. To quote a tasteful bit of Australian venacular - I wouldn't touch her with someone else's dick. After thinking about it for a while - why does the right put forward Coulter as sexy when Malkin is way hotter - all I can come up with is she isn't white enough for the majority of their tastes.

Which brings me to the subject of race, which is at the centre of Malkin's little storm. Malkin has come down firmly against recent protests by Mexican nationals, protests centering on their status as illegals within the US. One of the things Malking did on her blog (she's in Technorati's top 10 so it actually matters what she does in her blog - unlike my inconsequential ramblings) was post the names and home phone numbers of some protestors.

Now this is fucked up. These people had to endure harassment and death threats from the shit-heels who like the reactionary crap Malkin goes on with. She copped a pretty severe blowback over this and received a torrent of abuse. No surprise that a lot of it was sexist (she's female) and racist (she's of Asian descent). This is plain stupid and it always happens. When you can easily attack someone simply on the grounds they're a fuckwit, why bother with racism and sexism?

But we pass through the looking glass when the lunatic fringe right gets up in arms over this abuse. Yeah, right - they're never sexist or racist. I agree that anyone who indulged in this gutter level response should be ashamed and I'll distance myself from them as far as possible. But I don't need these right wing pigfuckers who base what passes for their public discourse on racism, sexism, homophobia and lies moralising to me. I like the idea of pounding their Neanderthal skulls with a heavy cast-iron soot-blackened kettle.

It's intellectual violence! You see? You're the pot! You called the kettle black. Now the kettle is saying "Fuck you, shithead!"

Pundits and Other Pond Scum

One of the saving graces of both politics and television in Australia is that the whole "pundit" thing doesn't seem near as entrenched as it is in the US. Sure, there are the usual talking heads on both radio and TV but from what I read and what I see on cable TV, it seems like this is the only style of mainstream news/reporting in the US. You have a very opinionated (and often very aggressive) "personality" telling you what to think rather than a journalist analysing events and giving you the ability to make up your own mind.

It's quite clear that the commercial networks would like things to go this way but it hasn't caught on. It's most entrenched in talkback radio, particularly in Sydney. If anyone reading knows about the recent race riots that occurred on Sydney's Cronulla Beach, the feelings that triggered this were stirred up in the week leading up to the violence by one of the main talkback jerks, Alan Jones. The violence went way past what he was hoping for and he mysteriously went on holidays the week after so couldn't answer any questions as to whether he accepted any responsibility for what happened.

But then again, he has a track record for being gutless and not facing up the results of his actions. About 15 years ago he was busted in a public toilet in London (hello George Michael). He whipped the old fellah out and waved it at a young chap next to him, saying the equivalent of "hello sailor". Turns out the young chap was an undercover cop so Jonesy didn't get the sort of action he was looking for.

So he was staring down the barrel of a rather embarrassing court case that probably would have ended his career (and possibly given him jail time given the ridiculous "public morals" campaign that had cops trawling gay beats in the first place). Lo and behold, the Prime Minister of Australia steps in and gets him off the hook. Jones promised to tell his faithful public "the full truth" when the court case was over. Well, the court case ended, the toilet trader came back home and it was all swept under the carpet. Never mentioned again.

Why is it the biggest blowhards are the most gutless at the end of the day?

Are You Feeling Angry?

When I'm feeling angry I tend to go for some cathartic therapy... like ranting in a borderline insane manner on a blog. Well, my kids actually pointed me to an alternative today, one that appealed to my twisted sense of humour. They love their internets these kids and they're always finding new free games to play. The latest goes by the fairly innocuous title of "Interactive buddy".

The first hint that this may be a little more twisted than the name suggests is when they describe the gameplay as "Imagine you have a buddy you can do pretty much anything to." It turns out this "buddy" is basically designed for you to persecute. You get points for slapping him around, hitting him with things, blowing him up and setting him on fire. And you can change his appearance to look like a tellytubby (those damn tellytubbies are past due for a beatdown) or even a political figure you think needs some payback.

The really sick bit that appealed to me was that the buddy "learns" what you are doing. You can drop a hand grenade next to him and he stands there until it blows up. Then he knows grenades are dangerous and runs in terror when you lob some more. Ahhhh, Shakespeare couldn't have written better comedy.

It's on a whole bunch of game sites if you want to get some sick laughs - I know I enjoy it. I'm not going to link to any of them because, well, they're not paying me to. Type "virtual buddy free flash game" into any search engine and you'll find it. And if you're thinking of saying this is sick and sadistic, it's better to get this out of your system in a video game than in real life... or is it?

I'm going out for a while now, I'll report back later.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sick Internet Goatse Sex Perverts!

Well readers, last night while I was obsessing over my blog I spend some time going through my archives. One of the posts from the early days that I decided deserved more coverage involved the following image. This is either instantly funny to you or you will never find it funny. For those who don't know what goatse is, follow this link and Wikipedia will help you out. For those who know, how's this for a twist:

Some sick bastard has gone and taken a picture from the inside looking out! I found this is the local weekly paper, hidden amongst the real estate ads. Oh sure, they had some cover story about how they were trying to highlight the overuse of plastic bags but I know a goatse image when I see one. And that sick bastard looking in seems to be enjoying himself waaaaaaay too much.

No More Green Crap

It's all well and good to address politics like I did yesterday but I don't want to forget about the important things. I started this blog to rant about all the little things that make me angry and I have another one to tell you about today.

We all have dreams of what we are going to do when we win the lottery. They often involve big houses, fast cars and island paradises. For me, there is a simple plan. I'm going to open a restaurant. This restaurant will right an injustice that has been allowed to carry on for far too long. This restaurant will be called: "No More Green Crap".

This may require some explanation. I am not one of those men who think salads should only be seen on "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy". "No More Green Crap" will serve both salad and vegetables. But when you get your food, THERE WILL NOT BE A HANDFUL OF GREEN CRAP SPRINKLED OVER IT! This has been a bugbear of mine for years (seriously, people are embarrassed to go out to dinner with me). It recently jumped into the forefront of my thinking when the site I Hate Cilantro was brought to my attention. It's good to see people fighting the good fight all around the world.

I actually had to look cilantro up to be sure of what it was. In Australia we call it coriander. I'm not sure if the fact this site focuses solely on cilantro means that's the only topping you're subjected to in the states - if that's the case, you're lucky. In Oz, we are subjected to an endless variation of gratuitous green crap on top of otherwise perfectly good food. It might be parsley, shallots, spring onions, oregano.. sometimes I'm sure it's fucking grass clippings.

occasionally, when I have resorted to physical violence in a restaurant, people have suggested I should calm down and maybe pick the green crap off my food. Wee that's bullshit. It isn't as if the menu mentions they're going to sprinkle green crap on my food. That's false advertising. And as for those sad and twisted individuals who think this actually makes food better, they should have to ask for it as an extra. I shouldn't have to remember to say "If my food comes out with green crap on it, I'm going to stab you in the fucking eye with this fork."

I haven't said it for a while, but this is a serious question to the restauranteurs of the world:

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"I Hear the Voices..."

So here goes, plunging back into politics. Let me start by saying this: there are plenty of things in politics that make me damn angry but I haven't been all politics all of the time for a few reasons. First, I'm trying to have fun and focusing solely on politics might get to be heavy going after a while. Second, there are other people who do it way better than I can, I've linked to some of them before and I will do so again in the future. Third, in my quest to have fun, I don't want to belittle things that are actually important so I've been a little hesitant to focus too squarely on some touchy issues.

That said, some of the stupidity going on is so absurd I can't help but dive in with an angry tirade. For those who haven't been following the musings of the leader of the free world, the title of this post is a direct quote from the man himself, G W Bush. It's part of what he said when being asked if he considered sacking Donald Rumsfeld after some retired generals (people who might actually know something about command competence) said Rummy was a useless pigfucker who should be taken out and shot. Geedubya said that despite hearing the media and the voices he was "the decider" (which sounds like an excellent name for an underwear pervert). What stuck with me was his reference to hearing voices. It explains everything.

He's completely fucking insane.

Georgie boy has gone all 6th Sense on us and he's hearing voices. I imagine this will be his defense in later life: "the voices told me to do it." Yes, the voices told him to invade Iraq even though the people who actually had a clue what they were talking about warned him what a stupid idea it was. The voices tell him life is better in Iraq now despite the deaths of tens of thousands and the ongoing horror of daily life there. The voices told him to award award no-bid multi-billion dollar contracts in Iraq to Halliburton who then sent soldier out without adequate armour or resources (although that was pretty obviously Cheney's voice).

And now it seems the voices are telling him that military action, up to and including nukes, against Iran is a good idea. This is despite the fact that it's morally reprehensible, strategically suicidal and straight-up insane. Some explanation:

Morally reprehensible: This requires no explanation. If you think the act of nuking Iran is not morally reprehensible, well, to borrow a phrase I read recently on another blog: fuck you in the neck with a butter knife.

Strategically suicidal: The leader of Iran, President Ahmadinejad, is not Saddam. He may not be the greatest guy in the world, but within Iran he's fairly popular and kinda-sorta democratically elected. So you can't fool anyone into thinking you will be popularly welcomed if you "topple" him. Also, Iran has A BIG FUCKING ARMY! The US and allies are already overstretched. It simply isn't feasible to open up war on another front. And nobody in Iran is going to sit quietly if you start bombing them. Step 1 would be a real bloodbath in Iraq as the Iranian army sweeps in. Step 2 would be "goodbye Israel" - as in, no longer existing on the map.

Insane: You would get zero international support for this. Okay, maybe the world's most pathetic lapdog, John Winston Howard, would sign on but I can't imagine Blair getting involved. From erstwhile allies you would get overwhelming condemnation, I would expect protests/rallies/riots all across Europe. And the wave of violence that would be unleashed across the middle east is too horrible to contemplate. And I'm more than a touch worried how Australia's neighbours to the north would react as well. An inevitable corollary effect would be the complete collapse of the US and probably the world economy.

So, politically, why would he say these things? Possibility one: it's a bluff. Caint afford to look weak tuh those mooozleeems. Guess what shit-for-brains? Anyone sensible thinks it's a bluff. Bluffs don't work if everyone knows it's a bluff. Dubya must be a shit poker player. Possibility two: he's completely fucking insane and he really means it. In which case...

Would some intern please give him a blowjob so he can be impeached?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Should I be Worried?

The milestones keep coming - more than 40 posts without missing a day, sometimes two posts a day (like today).

I'm looking for advice right now dear readers. A bit of background - they have me playing musical chairs at work at the moment. I've been at three different desks in the last three weeks and I'm moving again on Monday. I'm not particularly angry about this - I'm a little miffed but it's unfortunately necessary and I can deal. I'm no prima donna.

I'm getting a little creeped out by the desk I'm at now and want to know if I should be worried. The usual resident of this desk is on leave and comes back on Monday (that's why I'm moving). He's posted a series of "motivational" quotes on his monitor (the one I'm forced to stare at all day at the moment) and quite honestly, some of them belong in the "not quite right" basket.

They start off innocently enough: "Infinite combinations - infinite possibilities", "A good salesman does not fill a need, he creates one", "be, do , have" and even a nice Shakespeare quote: "There are more things in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Then things start to go a bit... off.

We get the following: "The best lie is always founded in truth", "Often the most beautiful things are the most dangerous", "A full cup is useless" (WTF?) "Chaos is an acquired taste" and my personal favourite: "Evil is a journey, not a destination."

Oh, and he also has a list of movies he wants to see which includes "Deer Hunter" and "Hitler". He's back on Monday.

So I'm asking for advice: should I be worried?

Toilet Rules revisited

I'm still planning to rant about US neocons as per the suggestion of one of my readers, Jason, but there's so damn much to be angry about there I need some more time to focus and arrange my thoughts into a coherent enraged rant.

Besides, something has happened that is so outrageous I had to address it first. A look through the archives will show that I am particularly concerned with toilet etiquette, notably how it applies in the workplace. I am continually surprised when I discover women who don't know that men's communal toilets include a standard fixture known as a urinal. There are some variations in design but basically, the idea is that men stand side by side to take a piss. Letting it all hang out, so to speak.

I find this a slightly weird situation and I particularly don't like it at work. Sharing a little bit too much personal information in the workplace if you know what I mean. Normally I try not to think about it. Or avoid it altogether by using the toilet cubicles and closing the door to take a leak rather than getting into the group wee situation at the urinal. I actually had someone question why I do this rather than stand at the urinal "with the other blokes", to which my response was "why the hell are you so keen for me to get my penis out next to you?"

Some men's aversion to whipping the old chap out in company veers into homophobia. This has led to several uptight straight acquaintances swearing blind that gay bar toilets involve glass walls so that everyone can check each other out. All the best bars in Sydney are gay bars and I did spend quite a few nights going out to them in my youth and from my experience I can attest that these stories are completely apocryphal. And stupid too. The fact that I don't like shared toilet facilities has nothing to do with homophobia - call me crazy but I regard the whole toilet experience as a private thing.

Everyone knows the "no talking" rule (sometimes the only thing that makes it bearable is pretending there isn't really someone standing next to you who also has his penis out) but there's always someone who transgresses the rule. And today I was subject to the most egregious transgression I can remember. I'm using a lot of top shelf word today aren't I?

Anyway, I have previously mentioned my addiction to a certain bubbly beverage. I drink a lot of it and I try to balance it by drinking a similar volume of water. This results in me consuming a significant amount of liquids each day. Which results in many trips to the loo. So I go this morning and I'm standing there relieving myself. I was alone but then a cow-orker enters and stands next to me. And then he has the poor taste to say (as I'm letting fly with a fair volume and force):

"That sounds like a full bladder."

What?!? How many fucking personal boundaries do you want to violate at one time? How do people with so little clue as to societal rules even survive? And what was he expecting - an extended dialogue on bladder capacity? I was expecting him to whip out a ruler next and say "while we're here, let's compare how we measure up." Fortunately, that didn't happen.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Helpful Driving Tips

I've just come back from a drive and I'm full of love and kindness for my fellow motorists. No, not love, that isn't the right word. What's the word for when you hate them and want them to die? I'm sure it'll come to me.

Most of my rants against other drivers have been because they were either selfish or overly aggressive or both. Today I want to rant about that other breed: the people who seem to be so scared of driving that everything they do is tentative. It's as if they think if they do everything really slowly and don't commit to any one course of action, they'll be fine when, in fact, they make it that much more likely they'll be involved in an accident. So in the spirit of helping, here are some tips:

TIP 1: It's called an indicator, use it! If you're turning a corner, changing lanes, pulling over or stopping to park, use your damn indicator. Oh, and it's called an INDICATOR, you use it to INDICATE what you are going to do. It isn't called a "what I did" or a "told you so", it's a fucking indicator! Use it to let other people know what you are going to do! It's a bit fucking late to switch it on after the fact.

A little aside here, I know I said I wasn't focusing on aggressive types today but if one more bastard accelerates to cut me off when I indicate I'm changing lanes into an open space I'll run you off the road and drag you out of your car, then we'll have a wee conversation about politeness. And when I've finished explaining to you the basic tenets of human decency, I promise I'll take my boot of your throat so you can offer a heartfelt apology.

TIP 2: Read the traffic. Good traffic flows like water. It has patterns and you can read them. Don't wait until the last second to react to what's happening around you. Example: there are two lanes of traffic in each direction and someone in the right lane indicates they're going to turn right (for American readers[and I don't know who else], substitute left for right). For the love of the baby Jeebus, don't wait until the last second to react! Cane toad level intellect would inform you that you're going to have to change lanes to get around the turning car so do it sooner rather than later. Don't come to a dead stop right behind the turning car then turn your car into the free lane. You end up blocking both lanes then we're at another boot on the throat type of conversation.

TIP 3: If you're scared by traffic, don't bloodywell drive! Stay at home on the couch and knit or something. You know what? Traffic can be scary. But traffic isn't going to change, you need to change. Suck it up! Learn to deal! I grew up in a very quiet country town, when I moved to Sydney the traffic terrified me. So I did the only sensible thing - I didn't drive. It took a few years until I had enough of a handle on things to cope with driving. And let me tell you, those Sydney drivers are nuts and they would have taken great delight in mowing a poor country boy down.

TIP 4: This one's important: if you make a choice while driving, commit to it. Don't go back and forth, will-I-won't-I, yes-no. When you waver, nobody know what the fuck you're planning to do and that way lies madness. Not to mention twisted metal.

So in short, it's a little like the dilemma Spiderman faced - with great power comes great responsibility. When you drive a car, engaging the gears is only part of the equation.

Don't forget to engage your brain as well.

Monday, April 24, 2006

My Body is Angry at Me

I have no idea what I've done to piss my body off so much, but it is in the throes of a full-scale insurrection against me. I'm takings so many damn pills at the moment. Anti-biotics for an ear infection, cold and flu tablets for the obvious and a whole handful of vitamins and supplements because my eating habits are so shit I'm afraid I'll die without them.

And I'm not even sure the vitamins do me any good (not surprising to anybody who's read my posts ripping on hippies). The science on vitamins and similar supplements is sketchy at best. But I can afford them so they are more insurance, I guess. I take them on the off chance they work. I am not always an overly rational person - I also occasionally buy a lotto ticket. I call this paying my stupid tax.

At least tomorrow is a public holiday in Australia so I can rest a little while the cold takes hold. April 25th is ANZAC day - for those who don't know that's an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The combined antipodean fighting force that went off to be slaughtered wherever the English sent them, most notably to Gallipoli. This day is tied most closely to the Gallipoli disaster in Australian minds although it is more broadly a second Remembrance day, commemorating all service by Australian soldiers and other service people.

I don't have it in me to attend a dawn service tomorrow, maybe I'll mark the day by watching the new movie, Kokoda. I'll have to go alone, my girlfriend share my love of science fiction but does not share my liking of war films. Speaking of science fiction (and tying in with my earlier angry rant) I watched the last two episodes of the Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0 DVD with my lovely girlfriend last night.

How does this tie in with my abuse of copyright post you ask? Let me fill you in, dear reader. You see, not only has this series of BSG not aired on Australian TV yet, there is not even a hint of it being screened. And yet you can get it on DVD in the US. So I thought, screw this, and ordered it from Amazon. And there's another twist, even with the crap exchange rates between the $A and $US plus the freight, the DVD set was cheaper than it will be if and when it gets to Australia. Now I've watched it and it was awesome.

And I broke the law.

Yes, I bought a commercial product in an above the boards transaction but I broke the law. Because of the insane copyright regime that exists the studios say they can dictate when I get to watch something, despite paying for the privilege. And they wonder why people download pirated products online. These knuckle-dragging fucktards have this amazing business opportunity waved in their face and their response is to sue people who were potentially their biggest customers.

Because they're scared. They don't understand this new medium and it scares them. They should be scared. Not because the net will starve all the artists who create original work (the lying fucking bullshit they spread around so often) but because, almost inevitably, the days of the big movie studios and big record companies are numbered. Instead of giving customers what they really want, they focus their energy on buying politicians to enact corrupt laws to protect their inefficient practices.

And it will catch up with them. And I will join in on the big party that involves dancing on their graves.

Poor Bloody Google

I'm getting angry about a different topic today. I've been angry about this for a while but I haven't addressed it in this blog. I am getting increasingly angry about the ridiculous shenanigans being perpetrated in the name of "copyright protection".

As an original content producer I have somewhat of a vested interest in the topic. I don't want any of my work stolen. In my current context "stealing" concerns me in one way: the idea of someone taking what I wrote and pretending they wrote it would piss me off. If they were doing this for the purpose of commercial gain I would be even more pissed off.

As far as I'm concerned the more people that reproduce and distribute my work the better. Ideally, this reproduction and distribution would include a credit to me and a link back to this blog.

But you know, as much as it would piss me off if somebody pretended they wrote it themselves, it wouldn't be the end of the world. If they somehow managed to get a lot of attention for my work, it would be relatively easy to prove it was mine; after all, I have a timeline here on my blog. And then I could swoop in and claim the fame they had earned for my work.

Exploiting my work for commercial gain would make me really angry and I saw a weird example of how it could happen today. I like to randomly check the "recently updated blogs" feature that you get on various sites. Nine out of ten links you follow are rubbish but you find the occasional gem. If I've ever commented on your blog and you're wondering how the hell I found you, it was probably via this method. You regularly find spam blogs this way. Most commonly, spam blogs (splogs?) seem to be put together by random word generators and are full of links that are meant to boost the search engine rankings of particular sites. They are completely unreadable - in fact they make no attempt to be readable, it's all about the links.

Today I found a more cunning example. This seemed like an OK blog. A series of short, nicely written posts but something was not quite right. Most of the posts didn't seem to "finish" properly. They stopped while they were still mid-thought. And every post included a sentence along the lines of "then I did a random search for link to whatever". I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but I did work out what was going on eventually. These scumbags are stealing posts from real blogs, inserting their spam link, then charging someone for (possibly) boosting their search engine ranking (this is known euphemistically as search engine optimisation {SEO} rather than theft and spam).

That pisses me off but it wasn't even the thing that made angry that I wanted to post about. It started off as a way to illustrate a point and I guess I built up a head of steam over it. What's making me angry is how stupid people are willing to be in the name of copyright protection. We have film and music companies telling us they have the right to dictate exactly what we can and can't do with products we purchased legally. We have software and hardware companies inventing systems to screw us over after we legally buy a product.

And then there are the idiots who fire off the "cease and desist" letters in completely inappropriate ways. This is the area that is making me angry today.

Poor bloody Google.

They spend their time essentially making the internet work. Without the effort Google have put into various projects, most obviously search, the internet would suck a lot more than it does. If you have a commercial product, generally speaking, Google makes it easier for potential paying customers to find you. Yes, I know, Google do a lot of questionable and outright wrong things, most notably their collusion with the repressive regime is China. I might rip on them for their faults another day but that isn't my purpose today.

Google decided it would be a good idea to digitise whole libraries of books and make their content searchable. This is an absolutely fucking brilliant idea! Access to all those books for all those people. Suddenly being able to find books that cover topics you want to know about. Books you would have a snowball's chance in hell of finding without this service. Potentially massive new audiences for the 99% of authors who languish in obscurity. Make no mistake, the current methods of producing, publishing and distributing original content (not only books) screw over the vast majority of creators. Everything is geared to favour the big publishing companies and a few "stars". And do Stephen King, Britney Spears and Jerry Bruckheimer really need more help?

Anyway, Google come up with this great plan and what is the response of a bunch of organisations that supposedly represent authors? Let's sue Google for daring to make these works available! Get this straight: Google was in no way planning to make it possible to download copyrighted books. They were going to let you search for books that had content you were looking for. Maybe let you read some pages so you were sure you had found what you wanted. In other words: point you to which fucking book to buy! And this is apparently bad for authors!?! I have two words for every argument put forward saying Google's library plan was bad: Bull. Shit.

And just last week, Google chose to commemorate the birthday of artist Joan Miro. Occasionally they tweak their home page logo to celebrate a particular event and on this day they made it look like some of the artist's work. And if curious users clicked on the logo they were taken to a site about Miro. And how did the "copyright holders" react? (Not the artist - the artist is dead) They squealed that Google was breaking the law! Breaching their copyrights!

Ignoring the fact that they were factually wrong (fair use/review/commentary etc. make what Google did perfectly legal) - it's plain stupid! Google are making the artist's work known to a potentially massive audience who otherwise may not be aware and what's the reaction of the people who stand to make the most commercial gain from that awareness? Oh no, don't do that - that's wrong.

I'll tell you what's happening here (and some of the perpetrators are even honest enough to admit this). These people see Google doing something. They know Google has lots of money. They know Google is making more money every day via Internet search. They see Google making money when somebody's search criteria turns up their commercial product. They then leap to "hey, Google's making money from my work! I want some of that money!"

Guess what genius? That isn't what's happening. If anything, you're going to make money from Google's work. You're just being greedy. And really fucking stupid too! This ridiculous tendency to prosecute fans and litigate against companies coming up with new ways to distribute knowledge is stupid. It's nothing but greed and it has to stop.

Anyone who says different is a fucking liar.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Some Quick Points

Point one: I've already posted once today, so this one isn't too heavy on teh angery. I went to see "I Heart Racism", one of the shows at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. I mentioned this show earlier in the week, it's directed by an old college friend, Adrian Calear. I knew this was a popular show so I booked online during the week. I showed up to the box office and found out Ticketmaster had screwed up the booking - it definitely wasn't me who screwed up the booking, no matter what the evidence suggests.

So there is actually some angry in this post because I was pretty pissed off. The situation was defused when Adrian found me a seat, even though the show was sold out. It's a good show, proving to be a big hit with the audiences during the festival. It's interesting to me that the folk putting on the show spend so much time pointing out that it's "offensive" and "R-rated". Personally, I could survive a lot more on the offensive front but that's hardly likely to surprise anyone who reads this blog.

I think a lot of what they were guarding against is that the show is written by two young white boys. Approaching racism from a humourous perspective is certainly an exercise in skating on thin ice and it's quite hard for white boys to joke about racism without someone accusing them of being racist. If you want someone who's unrelentingly in your face on issues of race while being mind-bendingly funny, try watching Dave Chappelle.
Point Two: I note from the site stats that I passed the 100 comments mark, a little milestone I'm quite happy about. Admittedly, a lot of them are from me but this blog is all about dialogue, not preaching. Okay, it's about preaching first but I'd lose interest without dialogue. Humble thanks to my readers and commenters. No angry at all here.

Point Three: Jason suggest I go nuts on the topic of inappropriate apostrophe use. I agree with him that this is a crime against humanity, but I couldn't do it any better than this:

Bob the Angry Flower on Apostrophes


Smack the qi Right Outta These Hippies

The mob has spoken - it's fun to rip on hippies! Today we will examine how a hippie is capable of stringing together a bunch of perfectly good english words while still making no fucking sense whatsoever!

The following all comes under the heading "Tips to nurture your qi while working in the modern world." Oh yeah, qi is apparently life energy. I think some people spell it chi. So the hippies are appropriating chinese medicine here. I would like to say here that I'm not going to attempt to refute chinese medicine/herbalism/acupuncture. I just can't stand the appropriation of other cultures - especially when it seems the sole reason for doing so is so some pathetic whitey can seem deep and mystical to other dumb whiteys.

Qi is apparently at the source of chronic fatigue syndrome. Sounds terrible, but the hippies are here to help us. Step one is... wash your hands! That's right, get your qi all shipshape and bristol fashion by washing your hands. Hear that all you malingering chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers who feel like you can't even get out of bed some days.? It'll all come good if you wash your hands! Oh yeah, you have to have an "awareness on the level of qi" - makes all the difference.

Steps two on the road to hippie healing is... have a bath! But once more, with awareness of the level of qi. Without that, all you're doing is washing crap off your body. Oh, and on a really gross note, this hippie points out that they do "more than a simple excretion of toxic energies" in the bath. I am so not sharing bathwater with this person. And you thought you could relax in a bath without any hippie "wisdom"? Let me tell you, you aint thinkin' on the qi then you aint doin' shit.

And to really help us out, the hippie closes with "the most successful technique to combat the drain of mental and emotional stimulation" (okay, now I know what this hippie is doing in the bath). This technique involves "developing the centres of energy above the head". What, like in fucking helicopters? I really get angry with this tendency to spout meaningless drivel and cloak it in an air of "mystic knowledge". And don't ride on the coat-tails of other cultures, you're no different to the fucking conquistadors stealing gold when you try to steal someone else's spiritual beliefs.

On the plus side, I have discovered this magazine includes free passes to the hippies' Bullshitapalooza expo. I wasn't going to waste my money going, no matter how much fun it would be to rip on the hippies in person. Now I can get in free! Looks like Saturday April 29th is hippie head-kicking day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Why Football Season Makes Me Angry

So football season has started again in Melbourne. There are a few codes of football played in Australia but in Melbourne, for all intents and purposes, there is only one - Australian Rules Football. This is theoretically a national competition, the Australian Football League (AFL) but it Melbourne it's a religion.

I'm not the athletic type myself but Aussie Rules can be very entertaining to watch. It isn't the sport itself that makes me angry or even the tribal aggro mentality the fans get. Well, okay, that pisses me off. But it wasn't the point I was going to make - that's only low-level aggravation, not serious angry territory.

I have had the misfortune in the past to work in places where the people were completely obsessed with footy. It doesn't seem to be the case in my current workplace, so thank Jeebus for small mercies. If people want to go mad for the footy that's their business. Wear the colours, carry a mascot, fly the flag, like I give a shit.

But you wanna get on the list? The list of those who will one day suffer my great anger and fuuuurious vengeance? It's easy: when talking about football, don't talk about the team you support, talk about yourself. "We had a good game... We are going to sign player X... When we play you, we are gonna kick your arse!"

Get this straight: YOU have nothing to do with the fucking game! There is a team out there on the field who play the game - YOU sit on your arse and watch. Or maybe jump around and scream like a fuckwit. But it isn't about you okay. Don't make yourself seem any more sad and desperate than necessary. Claiming some ownership or participation in the game does not make your pathetic fucking life seem any less empty, okay? It makes it worse because you're deluding yourself instead of facing reality.

I swear, football would be a lot more tolerable if it weren't for the fucking fans.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What the *bleep* are these hippies on?

Don't worry dear readers, I'm not suddenly getting coy on the language front. Fuck no. Just echoing my target for today. It's a literary device - you see, I'm erudite as well as psychotically angry. Okay, time to focus.

I haven't attacked the hippies for a couple of days so I decided to read their propaganda rag again to get fired up. The article that caught my eye this time was titled "What the bleep are ice crystals?" which they take from the title of a recent movie: "What the bleep do we know?" The film basically talks to people about "scientific" theories. I put the word scientific in quotes because a lot in the movie doesn't really match the mainstream definition of science. Even the more orthodox stuff is on the fringes of science but a lot of the stuff they go on about is plain fucking stupid.

And, surprise, surprise, the hippies decide to go with one of the really fucking stupid concepts. Ice crystals. It sounds innocent enough but I don't have to read far before I want to find a hippie head to kick. You see, apparently "water refects consciousness" or, if you prefer, "like a blank CD, water records information". And they have photos that "prove" it. There certainly is a nice array of pictures if ice crystal. I'm not exactly sure how providing a series of images "proves" anything but it seems rational questioning is not the strong suit of these hippies.

I'm not even talking issues of photoshop manipulation here - they simply put up a series of photos and say this is an ice crystal that has been "exposed" to a particular word; love, hate, angel, devil, "do it"... I could put up a series of photos of plants in various states of health and say one was told "I love you", one was told "I hate you" and one was told "George Bush is actually quite intelligent and deserving of our admiration and in fact the citizens of the world have just voted him "Emperor of the world in perpetuity" (that one would have committed suicide).

Saying something doesn't make it so. And photographs don't prove a damn thing. Possibly the stupidest cliche in existence is "the camera doesn't lie". Cameras lie by definition - they produce a fake representation of a real thing. Somewhat like these hippies.

And in case you think I'm being too harsh on them, they go on to christen this phenomenon "hado" - Japanese word meaning vibration. That seems innocuous enough, but then they go straight on to say that hado "is fast becoming the new word for the 'force' popularised by the Jedi knights of Star Wars". Okaaaaay, you guys know Star Wars was science fiction right, not science? That's right, these moronic hippies bolster their claims by tying them to a fictional story.

What the fuck?

Oh, and their world expert on the topic is "Dr Emoto". Yes, their expert on emotional resonance is Dr Emoto and their expert on love has the surname "Love". Do they think they're being funny or are they deliberately insulting our intelligence?

I'm Hooked on Blogging

Ohhhh yes, the emptying of all my frustrations into my blog, the ego boost from people reading what I write and actually saying nice things in comments. I can't get enough - it's like a drug. A bit of background:

I've been on the net since the early/mid 90s. Not the earliest of adopters but not a total n00b (oh yeah, check the 1337 speak - cool or what?) My obsession with spending time online has gone up and down and focused on different things over the years; IRC before the chat rooms went to hell, Usenet before it went to hell, online dating until I met the love of my life (that doesn't sound very angry, does it? Don't worry - the angry is coming).

The thing is, I hadn't found a new obsession in a while, my enthusiasm for the net was waning. The social networking sites never grabbed because, well, I hate other people. Then I thought I'd join Wikipedia. I like writing, I have some knowledge, it seemed like a good match.

Before I go any further, let me say this: there is a lot of crap spoken and written about Wikipedia, both for and against. My view is that the Wikipedia balance sheet shows much more on the positive side than the negative. Hell, Wikipedia is people acting with hardly any limits placed on them, with all the good and bad that implies.

At first I dived into a few topics I was interested in and was having fun. The problem is, it never really "grabbed" me and after a while I worked out why. Two conflicting tendencies in me were killing the experience. One - I'm a control freak (no surprises there). Two (and this may surprise some) - I don't like getting in passionate fights about something that doesn't really matter in the end.

Impulse one is well served by Wikipedia - you can write anything. You can write that George Bush is a twelve-toed mutant inbred who spends most of his time in the Oval Office rolling around in his own faeces. Despite the fact this is obviously true, anybody else can change your entry and then the fighting starts. Wikipedia is full of impassioned people who spend hours and hours toiling to maintain and improve it content, and more power to them.

At the end of the day I decided, pure and simple, I didn't care enough. So I stopped getting involved in constant article re-writes. And then finally, last month, I decided to dip my toe into blogging (why am I so late to these parties?) This is really working for me for three reasons:

One: I enjoy writing.

Two: I am attracting readers who are enjoying my writing and giving me good feedback (which feeds my rapacious ego).

Three: On this blog I AM GOD! My control freak nature can run riot.

So far I have only had one comment from a person who clearly didn't get what I'm doing. Everybody else seems to get the joke, which is something of a miracle considering how offensive and profane my writing often gets. I pity the fool who seeks to criticise me on my own blog - I'll tear them apart. An you know what? If you're smarter than me and can out-argue me in comments? I'm just going to delete what you write! Ha ha fucking ha.

All well and good you say, but where's the angry? We want our dose of angry. Spray your bile so we don't have to! I'm sure you can see I'm building a head of steam here.

One thing I do almost every day (besides blogging) is read Wired News. I'm a nerd, I work in IT and I find a lot of their reports interesting and occasionally useful for my work. Which is how I justify websurfing at work. Today there was a humourous piece on Wikipedia by Lore Sjoberg (I don't know how to put the thingy over the 'o' in this text editor).

I think this guy is funny. Consistently funny. And this is one of the best pieces written on Wikipedia that I have seen. By anybody. He successfully skewers the extreme arguments about Wikipedia, both the for and against. On top of that - it's funny! It's good to read funny things, life seems to suck less when you are smiling. Of course the predictable happens: Wikizealots rip into him for daring to question the perfection of their sacred tome and/or take the petulant route and say the piece was boring and/or stupid.

WHAT BIT OF "THIS IS A FUCKING JOKE" DO YOU NOT GET? Jeebus on toast! Some of the responses were so stupid that I started to suspect they were some subtle, elaborate, post-modern, ironic joke and they were actually parodying knee-jerk response rather than really being upset.

Also, I never understood post-modernism so shut the hell up if you are thinking of telling me that the above is not remotely post-modernist.

Anyway, to summarise: if you can't accept any criticism of what you are doing without lashing out, then there is probably something deeply wrong in what you are doing. Also, if you can't take a joke: fuck off and die.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Sad Case of the Abused Language

I've posted before about how angry it makes me when people use the wrong words but today I'm going for a variation on this theme. I get equally angry when people misuse language, whether through laziness, stupidity or intent to deceive.

Let me explain with an example: How often have you heard someone say something along the lines of "Only a fraction of x end up with a successful y"? Phrasing things like that is so damn lazy! I want to shake people who talk about "fractions" with no further explanation. Or better still, staple their mouth shut so they can't spout such meaningless crap any more.

Or maybe a few quiet words would suffice, like: "Listen, dickhead! Tell me what fraction or at least what sort of fraction. 99/100 is a fraction - unless you tell me otherwise I have no way of knowing whether the fraction you mean is closer to 1/100 or 99/100. At least provide some sort of qualifier: less than 1/2, a small fraction, a tiny fraction. I do believe most people use this phrasing out of laziness but there are definitely those who do it maliciously.

This is most often in media or political statements. They use the empty statement of "only a fraction" to back up their point while glossing over the fact it's no backup at all - it doesn't mean anything! More often than not, the truth behind this statement from a politician or some talking head pushing an agenda is: "I'm talking crap, there's no actual evidence to back me up. This thing I'm making a big scene about is actually not a significant issue. I'm simply exploiting general ignorance and prejudice to further my own ends."

Another one that really ups my angry factor is the way stores advertise sales. Their ads proclaim in big letters: SALE 50% OFF! Then there is the fine print, words like "up to" and "selected items only". Us poor suckers rush out to the store only to discover that the only item at 50% off is a pair of socks. That sort of advertising is so close to a direct lie that these bastards should be doing jail time. What is this "up to" bullshit that they get away with? I mean 0% falls under "up to" 50%.

In fact, when I take over the world (don't forget, this will happen) all hyperbole will be banned from advertising. And in all probability, advertising/marketing executives will all be publicly executed. But no more of these deceptive ads. Instead of terms that are so broad as to be meaningless they will have to be specific. How many and/or what percentage of items are at the maximum discount? What is the most common level of discount? And if you advertise something good on sale you'd better damn well have it in stock when I get there.

Try the old "bait and switch" on me and I'll put your face through a fucking shredder!

The Melbourne Comedy Festival

The fine and livable city of Melbourne is hosting its annual Comedy Festival right now and last night my lovely girlfriend and I decided to take in a show. For something a little different I thought I'd give a quick review - I promise to be angry about something later today. I have no idea if anyone in Melbourne actually reads this blog but on the off chance they do, here are some recommendations.

After finding out last week that Ross Noble was already booked out, we decided to take pot luck - just show up in town and see who could convince us to see their show. Tuesday nights are known as Tightarse Tuesday - most shows have cheaper than usual tickets (this was not the only reason for going out on a Tuesday night but, hey, cheap is good).

We were given a few flyers and ended up decided to see one Sammy J - the man himself was handing out the flyers so we thought we'd encourage his hard work. It turned out to be a good show, not just standup comedy (not that there's anything wrong with good standup comedy). Young Sammy J (he's all of 22) sings, plays music and even uses multimedia as he takes you on a tour of Australia in 55 minutes. He even has a website - well worth checking out if you have the chance.

By coincidence, the venue right next door was featuring a show called "I Heart Racism" that is being directed by an old college mate of mine, Adrian, who I hadn't seen in years. We had a quick catch up and this will be the next show I see. It was apparently a big hit in last year's Melbourne Fringe Festival and it's bound to be hilarious. Adrian says it's full of the swears (always good) and he's a man who knows the funny.

I suppose I could say I'm angry because these guys are funnier than me and getting to do this performances but that would be a cop-out. It didn't make me angry - it was a great time. And I have plenty of things that really make me angry.

More later.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm a Little Bit Different

But not necessarily in the way you were thinking. I work in an office environment and I don't drink coffee. This is not unique but from my experience it is a little out of the ordinary. What makes me more different is I substitute hot coffee for cold carbonated caffeine carrying beverages. Lots of it and icy cold (preferably in a tall glass filled with ice - even in the middle of winter). I won't name the particular product here as they don't need the free publicity. If I become incredibly famous I'll sell my drink endorsement to the highest bidder.

And I seriously drink too much of it. Think of how much you would consider too much and I probably drink at least twice that. I know it's unhealthy (at least I drink a sugar-free variety) but it isn't as if coffee is nature's greatest health tonic. Anyway, what makes me angry is the stupid comments this little bit of difference generates. Just the other day I was getting a can from the fridge at around 10am and one of my cow-orkers said:

"Geeze, it's a bit early in the morning for that, isn't it?"

Now, by 10 in the morning, some people are on their 3rd coffee and nobody will notice. But apparently I can't have one can of cola. Actually, it was my 4th for the day, but he didn't know that when he made the dumb comment.

An extension of this is that, by and large, I don't drink alcohol and I never drink beer. As an Australian male who grew up in a country town, this makes me a bit of an aberration. This attitude is best summed up in a quote I saw somewhere (I think it was from Shakespeare):

Q: What's an Australian male's definition of a poofter?

A: Any bloke who likes women more than beer.

Sad but true. Where this attitude has prompted some truly stupid comments is when I have been in pubs that serve beer by the pint - in Australia these are often called "English-style" pubs. Two examples of what has happened when I wanted to join in the fun so ordered a pint of lemon, lime and bitters:

1: "Gee, you must be thirsty." Yes, because beer is not a liquid so there is something truly wrong with me ordering a pint of some sort of liquid.

2: In a venue that touted itself as "a posh pub" - "The manager doesn't want us to serve non-alcoholic drinks in pint glasses because it isn't posh." Yes, because serving beer by the bucketful is ever so posh.

I swear, even though, according to Homer Simpson, everybody listens to me because I'm a white male aged between 18 and 50, sometimes I can't help thinking Damn, whitey is keeping me down!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I Can't Make Up My Mind

That's right, today I'm angry because I can't make up my mind. I can't make up my mind which hippie most deserves a beating. I've been reading the promotional paper for the upcoming hippie "expo" again (I believe it's called something like "Fleece the desperate gullible fools for all they're worth" or was it "Bullshitapalooza '06"?)

Anyway, working my way through, I stumble across an article headed "Why you chose your partner". I'm perfectly happy to accept that a hippie might have some advice for a balanced relationship so I read on. There is apparently a "hidden reason" you picked your partner. Doubtless the hippie is about to share their wisdom of what this reason is, so I read on. It seems it's all to do with wanting to meet needs that weren't met when we were growing up. That seems reasonable.

Then we get this piece of wisdom: "All children go through stages of development - for instance being babies". Riiiiight. So the wisdom to be gathered here is that we were all once babies. *Phew* Lucky I read this or I might never have known. The we get some quotes from an authority on love whose name is -I'm not making this up- Pat Love. Pat Love has written a book called "The Truth About Love". Is suspect that the truth about Pat Love is that s/he is a lying shitbag who preys on vulnerable people by spouting meaningless generalist rubbish and charging them a fortune for the privilege.

Then the big question: Is there one thing all couples need to know? The answer: people need to know what love is. Well, Foreigner told us that years ago. I think these hippies owe them royalties. Then we get to the meat of the matter - your partner isn't wrong, you are. "Being the right partner is more important than finding the right partner." And for me, here is the money quote:

"What does your partner ask you to do that you continually reject?"

So now it's clear. This whole article is born out of the fact that hippie's partner won't go along with a suggestion that doubtless involves latex masks and strap-on dildoes. Sick hippie freaks.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Toilet Rules

A recent post by the very eloquent mixednuts explored the rather thorny issue of whether or not to wash one's hands after going to the toilet. I'm not above railing against toilet issues myself - especially toilet rules at work. In fact, it's only at work that it's an issue - after all what you do at home is your business.

The bizarre collection of unspoken toilet etiquette rules really does make me angry. Mainly because the damn rules are unspoken so nobody is ever sure what the rules are. Well, I'll tell you what they are in practice: when do men wash their hands? When somebody is watching. Come on guys, 'fess up: you only wash your hands if there is somebody to see that you didn't.

Mixednuts did wonder about how things may be different for males so I put a bit of thought into the issue and now I'm ready to provide a male perspective. One of the big questions she asked was:

"is the male schlong that clogged with microbes and viruses?"

Well, sad to say, the answer in some cases is probably "yes" but I can only speak for myself as I don't spend a lot of time inspecting other penises. In my case, I shower, put on my undies and for the rest of the day Mr Happy is protected - my dick is the cleanest part of my body. Assuming I don't have any "adventures" after my shower, the only thing that comes into contact with my dick after dressing is my own hands.

My original insight was that considering the filth my hands come into all day, it would make more sense to wash my hands before rather than after. My dick needs protection from the outside world, not the other way around. Then I noticed a guy at work actually doing this, so this is apparently not such a groundbreaking concept. Mind you, this same guy used a paper towel to open the door when leaving rather than touch it with his bare hand. I think he has issues.

So I have decided to take it to the next level. To show my confidence in my cleanliness, from now on if there is something that I want to be really clean I'm going to rub my dick all over it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hippies are Asking for it

You probably have a whole bunch of free weekly papers where you live, they seem to be universal. They cater for all sorts of things; music, entertainment, real estate, local news and art but they all really exist for the purpose of selling ads. Anything that isn't an ad is really only filler designed to give the paper an excuse to exist so they can sell ad space.

All well and good, capitalism must be served. I picked up one I hadn't seen the other day, an "holistic" magazine that gives its mission as "to inspire, nurture, inform and empower". Cool - the hippie press. Now, it should be blindingly obvious to even the most casual reader that I need some calming influence so I thought this paper might do me some good.

It starts off well enough - it has naked people reading in a park on the cover. I'm all for naked people. I start reading and it seems fine enough - going without your car, chronic fatigue, fairly predictable "bio-dynamic" products being advertised. Then I stumble across the headline "How intelligent is your food?"

Maybe they mean how intelligent are the choices you make regarding food? I read a bit. No, that isn't what they mean. Here are some actual quotes:

"Food contains intelligence."

"When we eat... we metabolise the life or intelligence of that food."

"The fresher the food the more intelligence it contains."

"Food can lose its intelligence the longer it sits around in the fridge."

And apparently this hippie didn't consider how much intelligence they lost sitting around on the couch taking bong hits.

The more of this outrageous drivel I read the more angry I became. Some might argue this is relatively harmless hippie waffle but these people are giving themselves titles like doctor, educator and, of course, swami. They pitch this unmitigated horseshit as the truth and make no mistake - hippie or not, it's all about the money.

This paper is all about promoting an "expo" on the last weekend of April in Melbourne when these charlatans will be trying to bilk as much money as possible out of gullible and desperate people. Want your cancer cure? We got it right here.

I will be spending quite a bit of time between now and then ripping into these quacks and idiots - there is a very dark underside to the commercialisation of this appalling non-science. They are even dumb enough to put their names and photos after the articles and in their advertisements. All I can say is they better not walk in front of my car while I'm driving.

Now, I'm not suggesting anyone should go out and inflict violence on these cretins - I think that's the army's job. But I'll be damned if I'll let this pre-medieval quackery go unchallenged.

Friday, April 14, 2006

My GPS Hates Me

One of my favourite toys is the GPS navigation thingie I got with my car. There are two main reasons I like it - obviously it helps me get places when I don’t know the right way to go. But my second favourite thing is taunting it when I do know the right way to go.

It has this neutral female voice that gives directions without any emotion or inflexion but I can’t help thinking that when I don’t take its advice it gets a bit narky at me. Maybe it’s my imagination but I feel a bit of an edge in its electronic voice when it says “route recaculation u-turn”. It seems to me, the unspoken part of that direction is “listen to me the next time you moron.”

I am quite convinced my GPS thinks its brain its more advanced than mine and it’s a waste of its talents to tell this talking monkey directions… So my little revenge is to tweak it by occasionally ignoring its direction and choosing my own route.

I have a definite image of the GPS in my mind when it talks to me. It looks very much like “Supernanny” on TV - very prim, hair tied back in a tight bun and wearing a black power suit. And it sooooo doesn’t like me. Hah! Damn GPS thinks it is so superior but it isn’t so great. Because of some glitch in its numbering for my street it doesn’t even know where my home is! I have to tell it the side street next to my place so it goes in the right direction.

I pity the fool machine that thinks it’s better than me!

Oh, and what did I get angry about today? Pedestrians. Knuckleheads who apparently think stepping in front of a tonne of moving metal is a good idea. Hey Einstein: you wanna commit suicide? Stay at home and drink some drano. Don’t involve me in your pathetic lives.

Explaining Myself

One of my readers pointed out to me I may have gone a little far with one of the phrases in my last post. She was was also kind enough to say the post was still funny which was nice. The phrase in question was "I hunt and I'm extremely likely to shoot you if you try to stop me owning enough guns to compensate for my impotence caused by a lifetime of sexual abuse from my father"

And of course, she was absolutely right. There's nothing remotely funny about child abuse. This post isn't an apology as in "sorry, I won't do it again". It's more an apology along the lines of "sorry for being so horrifically crass but the mental state I get in when I write these posts means it isn't possible to guarantee I won't write something worse in the future".

Full disclosure: that wasn't even the first thing I thought of writing. Originally it was going to be "...compensate for my tiny penis." But somehow that didn't seem angry enough. Ah well. The challenge lies in me finding ways to be angry, abusive and crass without belittling things that I think are important.

Fun and games.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Driving Me Crazy

Ahhhh, some days, this blog writes itself. Who am I kidding, it always writes itself. The whole reason for the Mr Angry persona is very simple: there are so many damn things that happen every day that make me angry!

I haven't ranted for a while about how crap other people's driving is and I had quite a bit of inspiration on the drive into work today. I'll narrow it down to the ones who virtually had a neon sign above them saying "I am a moron and deserve to be force fed cane toads until I choke."

First, another piece of evidence that 4WD drivers are evolutionary mistakes. I was stuck behind one today who decided they had to slow to an almost complete stop to go over a speed bump. In a 4WD. With about a metre ground clearance. And that stupid raised suspension that means I can never see past them.

I mean, I know these wankers are never taking their vehicles off-road - that goes with saying. But they're scared of a fucking speed hump? Jeebus on toast! You should be able to take a damn speed hump at 80 and not even feel it. Seriously, if you're scared of driving, STAY OFF THE FUCKING ROAD!

And the other flavour of idiot this morning. This one actually did have a sticker on his ute saying he was a moron. Well, what it actually said was "I hunt and I vote". Now, this type of sticker originated (I think) in the US and American readers may think I'm saying he's a moron solely for being a hunter. Not strictly true - it's the wording of the sticker that makes him a moron.

You see, this is Australia - voting is compulsory. Everbody votes. In votiong-optional countries, nutjob lobby groups can have a significant impact because if they can mobilise enough angry knuckle-draggers it's easier to have an effect because of lower voter turnout. Wimpy politicians are more likely to bow to pressure groups when the pressure group might mobilise otherwise apathetic voters into changing an election result.

Guess what? When voting is compulsory, the "I (whatever) and I vote" doesn't make any sense. Everybody votes! You might as well have a sticker reading "I sodomise wallabies and I vote". It's pointless! Have a sticker that makes sense, something like "I hunt and I'm extremely likely to shoot you if you try to stop me owning enough guns to compensate for my impotence caused by a lifetime of sexual abuse from my father" Now that will get some attention.

BTW: Both those stickers are copyrighted by me. If you print them up on stickers (or t-shirts or anything else) I will sue your arse for a million bucks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Angry at Myself

So why am I angry at myself? Because I'm a big wuss. A namby-pamby scared to go for it girl's blouse.

To explain a little, I had been making one post a day for the last three weeks because I was worried I wouldn't be able to maintain more than that over the course of a year. Having set myself the arbitrary goal of posting every day for a year this seemed like the prudent thing to do. Seemed like it but now I've realised, can I really only manage to write one things a day?

Hell no.

So I will keep posting at least once a day but often more than that. And I have also decided to link to some of my favourite examples of angry on teh internets. Because we all know the reason the net exists is so we don't feel alone in our angriness.

To start off, here's a long angry essay on

You have to watch an ad to see the whole article, but it's worth it. It's an anti-anti-feminist rant - part of the ongoing "mommy wars" - so its heart is in the right place. And some damn fine examples of the angry. The money quote:

"But I guess I learned something new about myself in this process: Apparently I am tough enough to kick someone with cancer, but only after feeling bad about it for a while."

Damn, I wish I'd said that about someone who pissed me off.

Medical Science Marches Forward

OK, so a change of topic may have been well overdue. I have just read that one Professor David Henry from the University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia will be presenting at a medical conference on “disease mongering”. I don’t understand this concept, nor am I angered by it.

What caught my eye is that Professor Henry will be unveiling his diagnosis for Motivational Deficiency Disorder (MoDeD). This condition is characterised by patients experiencing overwhelming and debilitating apathy. If this doesn’t sound serious to you, get this: in extreme cases the patient may be too apathetic to breathe! That’s right people, we have another potentially fatal disease to be paranoid about.

Fortunately, a drug treatment is being developed. It is called Indolebant and the science boffins say it is a cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist capable of motivating the most apathetic of individuals – even if they haven’t left the couch in weeks. This condition has been estimated to cost the Australian economy about $2.4 billion (that’s Australian money – so about $2.50 US) each year in lost productivity so it can’t be ignored.

Fortunately, the condition can be diagnosed using a combination of positron emission tomography and scoring the patient using a motivation scale. We can only hope that this poorly understood, underdiagnosed and undertreated condition can be brought squarely into the public eye.

Why, you may ask, is Mr Angry so angry about this? I’m bloody angry this diagnosis didn’t exist when I was in school. It’s the perfect explanation for why I was such a lazy little bastard.

And for any cynics out there, this was reported in the prestigious British Medical Journal (April 1st edition) so it must be true.

A Roman Adventure

For those who wonder why the misuse of “decimate” makes me so angry, imagine the current misconception of the word’s meaning transposed to it’s origins. I’m talking about a group of ten legionaries marching through hostile territory. Suddenly *thwack* one of them is felled by an arrow.

Brutus looks down at his fallen comrade and says “Oh no, we’ve been decimated.” And his mate Cassius looks at the one dead guy... let’s call him Flavius, I think it helps the story come alive when the characters have names. Not to mention I prefer to be on a first name basis with anyone living in my head.

Anyway, Cassius looks down at Flavius and says: “What, that’s it? One dead guy and we’re decimated? Really? I mean, the way everyone always goes on about being decimated I thought it would be way worse. Of course, it didn’t work out too well for Flavius but this decimated thing isn’t too bad.

“I used to lie awake at night worrying about us being decimated and now here we are, decimated, and nine out of ten of us are fine and dandy.”

And yes, I’m sure Roman legionaries used words like “dandy”.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Back to the Point

Now I remember the point I was trying to make, proving that misusing word is universal. And also proving how bad my obsessive-compulsive disorder has become. I may have mentioned before I choose to focus my anger on small things. You wanna know the one that really irks me when people misuse it?


People are always using it when they mean devastated, annihilated, almost wiped out. You know where it comes from? The Roman imperial army organised everything in multiples of ten. You know what decimated literally means? It means the loss of one in ten of your forces.

Ten per cent.

Not ninety per cent, not three quarters, not even half. One in ten. Why do I hear the Foo Fighters in my head at the moment?. Anyway, so when I hear a newsreader say “The tsunami decimated the coastal villages,” I want them to clarify:

“Do you mean ten per cent of the buildings were destroyed?”

“Oh no, virtually all of them.”

“Oh, so not decimated, more like devastated or wiped out. But not decimated because that would mean only one in ten.” (I often have conversations with my TV.)

“Yes, but everybody knows what decimated means...”

Well, no. Apparently they don’t, least of all you. That’s my bloody point!

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fair and Balanced

I think it’s about time I pointed out I’m not anti-American. Anti-moron yes, but that doesn’t mean anti-American by default. True, a significant portion of the American population displays moron-like behaviour, but they’re hardly unique in that. From my observation the problem is world-wide. There’s a lot of reflexive anti-Americanism and I think that’s just childish. I’d much rather target morons – wherever they may be.

And my pet bugbear about using the wrong word happens often enough right here in my own back yard. I can’t emphasise how angry this behaviour makes me and people do it all the time without thinking. I can’t work out if it’s because they’re lazy or stupid. Worst of all is when the media do it. The supposedly authoritative newsreader uses a word wrong then everyone thinks it’s OK to do it.

It doesn’t work that way people.

If everyone does the wrong thing, it’s still wrong. I almost used the Hitler analogy there but if I did, according to Godwin’s Law I’d automatically lose the argument. But the point is, you could all bite the heads off kittens and drink their blood together but that wouldn’t make it right.

Ray Martin could go on prime time TV naked, rub faeces all over his body and dedicate a human sacrifice to his dark lord, the many-headed beast Shoggoth and that wouldn’t make it right. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the sort of thing Ray does in his spare time.

In fact, here’s a tip: if Ray Martin says it, does it, thinks it – it’s probably wrong. No matter what the Channel 9 publicity department would have you believe.

Now I’ve forgotten what the hell my original point was.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Recognise the Differences

I know I'm flogging this topic a bit but I have one more point to make. The using of the wrong words is bad enough but what really made me angry when I was in the US was people who couldn't conceive of anyone thinking differently to them. The fact that the original word existed before they came up with their brilliant idea to use it for something else doesn't even register.

"Whut? Y'all sayin' somewhere else can tell America whut tuh do? What are you? Some kinda Ayrab-commie-tehrist?"

Like this time I was in Vegas with a local and I got distracted by the flashing lights and almost walked into a telegraph pole. And I actually said "Whoa, I almost hit that telegraph pole." And he stares at the pole for a while, clearly wondering what I'm talking about, then he gets this big shit-eating grin and says to me like I'm about 5 years old (and not the brightest 5 year old in the kindergarten either) :

"Dude, we have this new invention called the telephone. We don't communicate by telegraph any more, this is a telephone pole."

Smart bastard.

There's no answering that while maintaining dignity so I said: "Shut up and get me to the pony express office. I gotta drop off this postcard before the rider leaves."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Tipping Point

No, nothing about Malcolm Gladwell here (although read his site - his insights are very interesting), I just want to post a little warning about taking word misuse too far. Let me tell you about a little biscuit/scone incident in the good old USA that almost tipped me over the edge.

I was in a cake shop and they were selling what would be called rock cakes in Australia. Basically big, chunky oversize biscuits (cookies) in a mound-like shape. And what did they call them? ...scones!


I swear, I almost jumped the counter and strangled them. This is the sort of thing we need to take a stand on. You can't go around swapping words whenever you feel like it. I can't say it often enough!

And they treat you like you're the crazy one when you point it out to them... by bashing their face against a glass cabinet. That is not a fucking scone! If anything, that's a biscuit! This thing over here, this light, fluffy thing, THIS is a scone! Get it right goddamit!

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Use the Proper Words!

I’m serious, just learn the proper words. I’m not talking about slang, I’m not even talking about the rather creative way rappers keep inventing words – that’s fine, people make up new words all the time. It’s a living language.

But taking a perfectly good word that already has an accepted meaning and changing it arbitrarily, that’s just wrong. A sin against nature. And I found when I visited the states, If I use a word correctly instead of following the American vernacular everyone looked at me like I was the weird one. And you know the one word that really got to me? The one word that was guaranteed to make me angry?


I’m not talking about how Americans insist on calling them cookies. Like I said, I’m all for making up new words. Call them cookies, eaties, jabberwockies, I don’t care. Snoop Dogg can call them bizzles mah nizzles – it’s all good.

So, they call biscuits cookies, but THEN they call scones biscuits. You can’t do that! What the hell is wrong with you people? “Biscuits” already has a definition. You can’t go around randomly reassigning words – the fragile threads that hold society together will snap! We’re all going to descend into a pit of anarchy because the goddam Americans can’t use the English language properly.

I’m serious – it’s the first sign of the Apocalypse: randomly reassigning words. It’s all there in Revelations. Structured language is what separates us from the beasts people.

We lose that and it’s all downhill from then on.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Seriously, I'm not Angry About Politics

I mean it... in the past I was angry about politics but that's all behind me. Although I do have one question for American voters:

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Why do you love draft dodgers so much? Seriously, it seems like that's the case. Look at the evidence: George Bush Snr - war veteran, combat pilot. Bill Clinton - dope smoking draft dodger. And more recently: John Kerry - decorated war veteran. Bush Jnr - coke snorting, drink-driving, womanising draft dodger!

I actually expect politicians to be politicians to be two-faced, double-dealing liars but even I have my limits. Sometimes I just wanna smack that stupid monkey smirk right off Bush's face. "Ah'm a wah pezzident!" Yeah, right. All that motherfucker knows about war is how to stay as far away from the gunfire as possible.

As easy as it would be to be angry at all Americans for fucking up the world, that's too big for me to deal with. Besides, they not all responsible for what their government does. So I've decided to be angry about something I can focus on. I'm going after Americans for something they're all guilty of...

It's about time someone called these goddam Americans to account for the continual, wilful and malicious desecration of the English language.

More on this later.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm not angry about politics

I used to be angry about politics but then, well, shit just got too big. I grew up a lefty and things used to be easy: what were you angry about? Whatever America was doing. What was your political view? The opposite of American foreign policy. So lefties had it easy; just spend all your time complaining about the American government of the day.

Those damn Americans! Interfering in other countries, overthrowing governments, supporting dictators, using too many resources, blah blah blah blah blah. Life was good for an angry lefty in the good old days.

That was then.

These days, American foreign policy seems to amount to “we are going to bomb the fuck out of whoever we like and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it.” And what’s the justification? “Fuck you”. That’s the justification. “What are you gonna do about it you whiny little bitch? Nothin’, that’s what. Fuck you!”

Sovereign country that is no military threat to the US? “Fuck you!” Against international law? “Fuck you!” Not actually responsible for 9/11? “Fuck you!” “Makin’ fun of me b’cos I say ‘nucular’? Fuck you!”

I have to admit I’m not so much angry as amazed that Republicans tend to go ballistic when you say Bush is dumb. No matter how obvious it is. You’re like the kid in the fairytale: “Look, the emperor has no brains!” If you dare to point out that he can’t, you know… speak, they call you “elitist”. “You’re just being an elitist, people love his common touch. How would a moron become president?”

Well, actually, that’s my question.

Seriously, expecting basic mastery of the English language makes me an elitist? Expecting the “leader of the free world” to not be the dumbest motherfucker in the room makes me an elitist? And I mean any room in the world; he’s gonna be the dumbest motherfucker there. I’m an elitist for expecting competence? Yeah? Well fuck it. I’m there. I’m an elitist. Screw your pathetic knuckle-dragging monkey boy arse, Bush! You suck! All you right-wing psychos at least put up someone who can make intelligent noises if you want me to back you up when you bomb civilians.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bosses: How Angry Are You Making Your Staff?

I was discussing the various anger-inducing boss traits with former team member (FTM) and how we both continue to rank job incidents by how they compare to the truly hellish work environment we shared a few years ago. We have a scoring system named after our former boss which I probably shouldn’t use here.

The odds against her ever reading this are astronomically high, but a more realistic issue is that using her name would make it easier to identify me. Given that there is a very small/incestuous job market in this city for contract IT workers and given that I’m likely to slander more people as time goes by, I think it’s best that I stay anonymous.

So in looking for a substitute for her name, the first thing that sprang to mind was “Satan”. But I think this name is taken.

I’ve decided to go with “Croc” as a reference, as in “that was a real Croc statement”, “I’m having a Croc of a day”, “That scores a 7.8 on the Croc meter”. For those who don’t know, a crocodile kills you by grabbing you in its jaws so you can’t escape then rolling repeatedly in the water until you drown or your spine snaps. That is what dealing with a bad boss always feels like to me so Croc seems apt.

So for all aspiring bosses, here are some sure fire ways to make your workers angry:

  • Giving no clear direction ahead of time but not hesitating to tell people they are wrong afterwards: Score 5 on the croc meter
  • Going through endless iterations/document reviews without ever committing to a decision: Score 7.5 on the croc meter
  • Saying something is wrong when it was your suggestion in the first place: Score 9 on the croc meter
  • Denying that the error was yours in the first place, even when the canny worker has preserved a paper trail to prove this: Congratulations, a perfect 10

Maintain this sort of behaviour and you will be guaranteed hordes of angry, bitter, resentful workers. Then you just have to focus on crushing their spirit so they don’t have the will to leave or challenge you. The perfect way to a compliant, low-achieving workforce who will never be a threat to you.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Articulate Anger

Ahhhhh, nothing quite like a restful Sunday. Relaxing to the sound of running water that turns out to be running down your hallway because the shower drain has been transported to a parallel universe where instead of draining water away, it has become a fountain which is flooding your home.

Oh the joys of living in an apartment block are never-ending, and shared plumbing is just one of these joys. See, when I noticed my shower wasn’t draining properly I stopped showering thus avoiding disaster. This was all for naught when the upstairs neighbour emptied their bath and thus hundreds of litres of water rush down the same blocked hundred year old pipe, hit the blockage and spurt back up to the lowest release point: my shower.

The joys of seeing water cascading towards all your electrical appliances aren’t easy to express, although I tried yesterday. So after paying $500 to get an emergency plumber to come out the source of the problem is fixed and things aren’t going to get any worse. The trouble is, 75% of the carpets in my flat are soaked which is pretty damn bad already. And I have to talk to the real estate agent today to deal with that and get my $500 back.

The fact that I am entirely blameless in this and have already been through huge amounts of stress should have absolutely no effect on the real estate agent. I’m sure they’ll keep things simple and blame me. These are paragons of virtue I place on about the same rung as car dealers and truck drivers.

Oh joy, I have such a week to look forward to!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Inarticulate Rage


More on this development tomorrow.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Angry at Apologists

While I've got a head of steam about truck drivers let me just say there's one platitude I actually subscribe to: if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Don't tell me about how these hardworking "professional drivers" are what keeps this country running. There are plenty of freight alternatives that don't involve having to deal with psychotic speed freaks every time I drive

If you are the exception, you’re a hardworking, honest driver who’s never obnoxious, never abusive and never endangers the life of innocent people...

I don’t care.

You go out there and change the 98% of arsehole truck drivers who deserve to be hated. Until then, stop blaming the victims and try fixing the real problem. How hard is that to understand? The problem isn’t that most people hate truck drivers, the problem is that most truck drivers are soul-less pigfuckers.

In my humble opinion.